V2903 – Musings and Modifications

First up, thank you for your thoughts on the colour for this dress!  I think the Teal is going to be a clear winner!  Which makes me happy as on reflection its my favourite too!

I think it’s only fair to say that this blog is going to be a bit V2903 heavy for the next month or so.  This is a ‘project’ dress and I want to do the best I can with it.  I hope you guys are going to be OK with me talking about it incessantly and live through the process with me?  I am probably (make that definitely!) going to be asking for advice and help saving my sanity as we go along too!

So, on to the modifications and musings!

V2903 – Illustrations and Line Drawings

The dress is tea length, which looks gorgeous on tall willowy people.  I’m neither tall (5’4″) or willowy!  I have a suspicion that the tea length will drown me so I am highly likely to chop the skirt off around knee length.  I’ll probably toile the thing as per the pattern though just to see.  You can bet I’ll be asking your opinions on this aspect – sometimes you need someone a little more detached to make a more objective judgement!

I’m also going to remove quite a bit of ease.  Comparing  the body measurements with the garment measurements printed on the pattern shows that there’s 2 1/2″ ease at the bust and 3 1/2″ at the waist!  That seems like quite a lot to me.  I know I prefer much less ease in the bust so I’ll be taking this down to about 1″ and about 1 1/2″ at the waist.  I’m adding a little more to the waist as I really want the lines to be smooth there (and it’s also my biggest area of paranoia).

The only other modification is that I’m going to use the deeper yoke with the shorter sleeves.  Which isn’t really a modification, just messing with the pattern variations!  Then it’s just the usual fitting alterations (full bust adjustment, broad back and upper arms).

Stuck with me so far?  Ready for the musings?!

The fashion fabric is going to be poly taffeta (silk is so far out of my budget, sigh).  I intend to underline it to give it a bit more body and add some strength to the seams.  Originally I intended to stop there.

Then I started having a chat with Evie who blogs at pendlestitches.  She made V2903 for her wedding dress!  She underlined hers with lawn and dress net, with the lawn closest to the duchess satin so the net didn’t leave any marks when pressing.  She also lined it!

As a result I’ve been doing lots of research on underlining.  The first 10 minutes of chapter 6 of the Couture Dress class on Craftsy has loads of useful information.  Tasia and Gertie have both posted about the use of underlining too.

I’ve realised that I need to think about what I want the final dress to look like to make sure I make the right choices for the underlinings.  Ready for a list?

Smooth appearance on panels and seams
Strong smooth seams
Crisp edges at neck, yoke and sleeve hems
Strong, smooth as I can get it, zipper insertion
Invisible seam allowances and hems
Full skirt with some structure of its own (I will be wearing a petticoat/crinoline as well)
Crisp pleats

This has led me to think that underlining with a light weight cotton (lawn, batiste, muslin, calico) in all areas of the dress, and then adding a layer of dress net to the bodice and skirt pieces only.  I’d love to use this technique where the underlining also finishes the seams.  The princess seams will be just too curvy.  Sigh.

On the subject of curvy curvyness; my FBA is going to add bigger curves to the the already curved princess seams in the bodice.  Do you think adding some bias organza strips when sewing the seam is a good idea?  There’ll be a lot of notching and clipping in that area and I don’t want the seam to be weak.  I wouldn’t cut into the organza as there should be enough flexibility in the bias for it to be able to follow the curve without any help.  Do you think this would add some strength, or am I just making my life difficult for little to no gain?

Using the dress net will make a lining somewhat essential.  There isn’t a lining pattern included so I’ll have to draft that from the pattern.  I really want to hide the ‘guts’ of the dress though so would prefer the lining doesn’t hang free inside the skirt.

Should I bag the lining to the hem (like in a lined jacket, where the lining bags down a little) or should I just use french tacks to secure it at each non-pleated seam point (4 points)?

There’s a lot of pleats in the skirt and I can imagine that when they’re all flat, there’s a fair bit of yardage, so an exact replica in lining scares me a bit due to the amount of sewing that would go into attaching the lining at the hem.  But then  I’m also not sure that a french tacked lining would work great either!  I can’t really find an answer to this anywhere, so if anyone has any resource suggestions I’d be ever so grateful!

I’ll be leaving you all in peace for a short while as we’re going on holiday in the next day or so for a week or so (heh, Husband is busy with work, so whilst we’ve booked ten days, we may have to come back after a week!).  Once I’m back it’ll be toile time as I hope to get the pattern traced and the flat pattern adjustments done before we go.  I think you’ll like the toile – it’s going to be made out of a blue stripy duvet cover!